HLA Typing

HLA typing is an important step in kidney transplantation because recipient T cells would mount an immunological response if they recognised a foreign HLA. Immune cell activation starts a chain reaction that releases many mediators that tell the immune system to attack the allograft.


Graft rejection happens when the recipient’s immune system perceives the donated kidney as just a foreign substance. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA), a component of the host immunological defense system, is a significant barrier to transplant rejection in transplant treatment.


A type of genetic test is the HLA (human leukocyte antigen) type procedure. HLA matching is another name for HLA typing.


HLA typing examines certain aspects of the immune system. If someone can safely give bone, cord blood, or an organ to a person in need of a transplant, the test can assist in determining whether they can do so.


This page will describe the process of HLA typing. The HLA system and what it may reveal about your immune system will also be covered.


Reasons for HLA Typing

Finding out who can do tissue transplants with the highest level of safety is the main function of HLA typing (solid organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation).


The typing must be completed for every possible tissue recipient. The test is required for everyone who could be considering donating tissue, including family members of transplant recipients.


Additionally, individuals might volunteer to have their bone marrow HLA type entered into registration for stem cell transplants. Organ donors who are terminally sick or just passed away can also undergo HLA typing.


The greatest potential donor has HLAs that closely resemble the recipient’s HLA patterns. This increases the likelihood that


After the transplant, some patients need to have an HLA type test to check if their body is producing antibodies against the transplanted tissue. This could indicate organ rejection and indicate that the transplant will not be successful.


The Various Organ Donation Methods


Transplant-Required Conditions


Transplantation is used to address a wide range of medical disorders. It is possible to employ a variety of transplants.


  • Transplants of stem cells from the bone marrow or blood are used to treat some forms of cancer and hereditary blood abnormalities. For instance, stem cell transplants can be used to treat sickle cell disease.


  • Solid organ transplants: If a vital organ has suffered substantial damage, a solid organ transplant may be necessary. An individual may require an organ transplant due to trauma, disease, autoimmune disease, hereditary disorders, poisons, and other factors. As an illustration, if one’s own organs stop functioning, they may require transplantation,such as a kidneys, liver, or lung. If an organ transplant is not possible, a person can pass away.




A test called HLA typing closely examines certain immune system components. It is utilized to determine if someone might be a suitable donor for a patient in need of a transplant.


The HLA System: What Is It?


A set of genes known as the HLA system is crucial to the immune system. The major histocompatibility complex is made up of the proteins these genes produce (MHC).


The majority of the cells in your body are connected to the proteins. The only cells that do not have the proteins are red blood cells.


Other cells within your body might search for a variety of variants in these connected proteins. Your body can identify your own cells thanks to these variances.


The Method for HLA Typing

HLA genotyping analyses your inherited HLA genes. Imagine them as colorful threads if that helps.


There are several HLA genes and these genes come in various variants. As a result, numerous color combinations are conceivable. Your unique HLA type is made up of all the variances. 1


The Six Biggest Organ Transplants


Tests for Antibodies


Antibodies that are directed against particular HLA proteins are also examined during HLA typing. The body’s immune system produces antibodies.


A person’s immune system is prepared to fight a certain color string if they already have antibodies against an HLA protein. That also implies that if it is transferred, it may target that protein, which might result in the transplant.


In general, if someone already possesses antibodies against one of someone’s HLA proteins, you shouldn’t have a transplant from them.


Cellular cross-matching


Lymphocyte cross matching is a potential component of HLA typing. Immune cells include lymphocytes. An antibody vs a protein on the donor’s cells is tested for by lymphocyte cross matching to determine whether the recipient possesses it.

If so, that individual should normally not get a transplant out of that person since there is a significant chance that it won’t be successful.


Is Blood Typing and HLA Type the Same Thing?


Because a person’s cells contain far more HLA markers than blood types, HLA is significantly more intricate.


Only the first eight blood kinds exist. Depending on their kind, a large number of people can securely receive many blood types.


You are not required to be a HLA contestant to get just blood from a person as red blood cells do not contain HLA.


However, the receiver has to match the donor’s blood type in order to get a solid heart transplant (compatible). Additionally, they require the best possible HLA match.


AN incredibly close HLA match is required for stem cell donations. Blood type is less crucial for cell therapy donation than it


How Are the HLA Genes Passed Down?


In your DNA, HLA genes are situated near one another. That implies that they are often inherited together. In other terms, you receive a full palette of colors rather than just one at a time.


The collection of HLA genes you acquired from your mom and the set she inherited from your dad make up your HLA type. Information regarding the “color of the strings” which your cell will have is encoded in the HLA genes.


Children of biological parents always receive half of their HLA proteins. This is referred to as a “half match.” On the contrary hand, a kid and their parents are never a perfect match. Thus, each of a child’s parents would receive half of the colors on the child’s cell.

The likelihood of an exact HLA match between siblings is highest when they have the same parents. There is a 1 in 4 probability that these siblings will have a perloredfect HLA match. They have precisely coordinating co threads, so.


Siblings have a roughly 1 in 2 probability of sharing half of a HLA marker and being half-match.


It’s normal for people to have no close family members because siblings only have a 1 in 4 probability of having the same HLA.

HLA typing for additional family members, such as uncles and aunts, may be worthwhile for a primary organ transplant that can be provided by live donors. Finding a compatible mate becomes more likely as a result.


It is less probable to find a match by testing additional family members since stem cell donations need a larger percentage of HLA matches.




Particular ethnic groups frequently have certain HLA “colors” (ethnicity groupings). If no one in your relatives is a suitable match for you, it’s probable that someone with a similar genetic background will be.


However, some people have a more difficult time finding a great HLA matching than others. For instance, there are fewer potential donors of African American ethnicity in bone marrow registries. The likelihood that someone of this ethnic heritage will discover a favorable HLA match favorable HLA matches from a non-relative is therefore decreased.


How is the exam conducted?


You must provide a tissue sample in order to do the HLA typing test. Typically, the sample is obtained from a vein on your arm or with a swab that is placed on the inside of your cheek.

There is no need for you to study for the exam. Once your sample has been collected, it is transferred to a specialized facility to be examined.


Since HLA type is not a frequent test, you might want to ask your insurance provider what portion of the price they would pay before you get it done.




For HLA typing, a lab receives a blood sample from you or a swab out from the back of your mouth. You could make a good donor if specific traits of your immunity and genetic makeup match those of a patient in need of a transplant.


For solid organ donors and stem cell transplantation, HLA typing is possible.


Analyzing the Results


You probably won’t take anything away from the HLA typing results on their own. So because HLA proteins have extremely scientific names, it might be challenging to understand them.


However, your doctor could discuss how your HLA type differs from a possible donor with you.


The test can reveal if you and your sibling are perfectly HLA matched, for instance, if our sister needs a stem cell transplant. If you might contribute stem cells to them, it will be possible to decide based on this information.


What number of HLA matches are required?


The donor and receiver should have an exact HLA match. This isn’t always doable, though. It varies on the particular transplant type and other medical factors.


In terms of how crucial a good HLA match is, stem cell transplantation is frequently trickier than solid organ transplantation.


There is a chance that in either process, the transplant recipients’ cells will assault the given tissue.


However, there is a potential that some of the donor cells in a stem cell transplant might assault the recipient’s cells. Graft-versus-host illness refers to this.


Because of this, recipients of stem cell donations often require a larger proportion of matches than recipients of solid organ donations.


For instance, if you obtained a kidney with a complete HLA match as opposed to a half HLA match, you are much more likely to still have a working kidney ten years following the transplant.


The number of HLA matches required to proceed with a transplant may vary depending on the healthcare facility and medical institution.


3 You could, however, still have been able to receive a transplant in some circumstances even if there are fewer matches.


If you haven’t yet identified a good transplant match, you and your healthcare professional will work together to find the best course of action.


You could decide to proceed with transplantation that isn’t a good match in some circumstances. In other situations, you could want to undergo different medical procedures when you wait for the possibility of a better match. Waiting might be difficult, but it’s occasionally the wisest course of action.




The ideal situation is for a donor and recipient to have an exact HLA match, although this does not usually occur. For some transplants, a near match is sufficient. A transplant with a less precise match, however, could not be successful.

Using tissue registries and HLA typing


Databases that connect potential donors and receivers provide data about your HLA type.


For instance, in the United States, the United Organization of Organ Sharing decides who receives organs from dead donors. The best match for these organs are determined using data on the HLA types of donors and recipients. It is only one of many variables that affect who gets them.


Similar to this, individuals are urged to volunteer to have their HLA typed and have that data added to a database of possible bone marrow donors.


A database contains the information about contributors. A person is called to see whether they may donate bone marrow if an HLA match to someone in need is discovered.




Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing is used to identify potential donors for a transplant recipient.


People who require solid organs or stem cells for a transplant fare better whenever they “match up” with donors in particular ways. Their HLA type is one method, which examines immune system genes and proteins.


After a transplant, HLA typing can be used to determine whether the recipient’s body rejects the transplanted organ. This can indicate that the transplant was unsuccessful.

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